Her wedding in 1851 to a Portuguese merchant bearing a false aristocratic title is a master hit. Having become La Païva, the new aristocrat declares on the next day to her husband that they have nothing in common and she dismisses him. The luxury in which La Païva lives and hosts is aiming to rival Empress Eugénie. According to the fashion of the time the jewels constitute the indicator of a high social position.
After the fall of the Empire the Païva marries a wealthy cousin of Chancellor Bismarck. For that time the love in the couple is reciprocal and sincere. Becoming Countess von Donnersmarck and resuming her fake name of Thérèse, La Païva receives as a wedding present a sumptuous necklace of three rows of diamonds which had belonged to the fallen empress.
Being widowed in 1884 the Count remarries. Two huge fancy intense yellow diamonds will be preserved in the descendance of the new wife.
They were separated at Sotheby's on May 17, 2007 in Geneva. The most beautiful, pear shaped, weighs 82.48 carats with a VS2 clarity. It was sold for CHF 5.7M including premium. The biggest, 102.54 carat in SI1 clarity and cushion shape, fetched CHF 4M including premium. Once again united and still unmounted, they come now for sale as a single lot by the same auction house on November 15, lot 357 estimated CHF 8.8M worth US $ 9M.
For objects as intimate as jewelry, traceability depends on later discoveries in archives. The 2007 catalog informed that these diamonds were assembled in two different jewels by Chaumet in 1878. In 2009 a historian found a record from the sale in 1882 of the cushion diamond by Boucheron to La Païva at that time Countess von Donnersmarck.
Please watch the video shared by Sotheby's.